Solved: Running Airtel 4G Dongle on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit version

Note:
This is a temporary fix, as new libraries and OS upgrades can easily break the Airtel connection manager again. The permanent solution is to use Ubuntu's Network Manager, as explained here.

Problem

Using an Airtel 4G Dongle in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 64-bit version. Installed the software, but it doesn't run at all.

The Linux flavor of the software that came with the dongle was installed as follows:
  1. Untar the contents of the Linux directory found in the dongle (say, to Desktop)
  2. Run: sudo ~/Desktop/PCL_AIRTEL/install.sh

Troubleshooting

This is not a complete step by step solution, rather a few helpful notes on getting it to work.

The core issue here is that the Airtel connection software comes with 32-bit binaries and is unable to run in the 64-bit environment, at least not right away.
The solution is to install all the extra 32-bit libraries that is missing.

Depending on what is already installed in your system, you could be at different phase of progress in the solution. Assuming a fairly fresh installation:
  • Install ia32-libs. A helpful StackOverflow discussion here.
  • See about any further missing libraries. Follow below steps until the Airtel4G GUI actually appears:
    • Untar Airtel_4G.tar.gz inside PCL_AIRTEL directory
    • Run ~/Desktop/PCL_AIRTEL/Airtel_4G/Airtel_4G
    • Look out for missing shared library errors
    • Install the 32-bit version of a missing libexample.so as sudo-apt-get install libexample:i386
    • (Some times the above can be lib32example)
    • Install the 32-bit version of a missing libexample.so.x as sudo-apt-get install libexamplex:i386
  • You'll need libcurses. Check for libcurses-*-dev in Ubuntu Software Manager and install them. Now try to run Airtel from the proper Applications menu itself and see if it detects your dongle.
  • Miscellaneous: I probably also installed certain other libraries that came up in the forum solutions (like g++-multilib, libcurl3:i386), while searching for the above. But this is a bother only if the above steps don't get it working for you.
 Here's hoping this post made your Airtel dongle troubleshooting a little less frustrating :)

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